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2:30 PM ET, February 3, 2022


 Top News: 
Ashley Carman / The Verge:
Audio: Daniel Ek says Spotify needs exclusives for leverage to land deals with Amazon, Google, and others, and that Spotify is a platform, not a publisher  —  He says Spotify is a platform, not a publisher  —  Spotify CEO Daniel Ek addressed employees about the Joe Rogan controversy …
Christi Carras / Los Angeles Times:
Neil Young's former bandmates, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash, ask their music labels to remove their collective recordings from Spotify
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Spotify reports Q4 revenue of €2.69B, up 24% YoY, 406M MAUs, up 18% YoY, and ad-supported revenue of €394M, up 40% YoY and a record 15% of total revenue
Joshua Benton / Nieman Lab:
UK and Canada draft laws similar to Australia's news bargaining code, which basically determines how much money outlets need to stop complaining about Google  —  The U.K. and Canada look ready to copy Australia's idea to force Google and Facebook to give publishers money.
Shawn McCreesh / New York Magazine:
CNN staffers puzzle over Jeff Zucker's sudden move as his relationship was an “open secret”: “this is Kilar taking his succession swipe back at Jeff”  —  At first, it seemed like Jeff Zucker was just another piece of collateral damage from Andrew Cuomo's demise …
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Jeff Zucker's tenure at CNN is defined by his pursuit of ratings, which guided his relationship with Donald Trump, whose persona he helped create and burnish  —  Many questions still swirl around Wednesday's startling announcement that, after nine years, Jeff Zucker's reign as CNN president was over.
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Jeff Zucker resigns as CNN president and chair of WarnerMedia's news and sports division, saying he didn't disclose a relationship with a senior CNN executive
Brian Stelter / CNN:
CNN's chief marketing officer Allison Gollust says she and Jeff Zucker started a relationship “during COVID”; Gollust will remain at CNN
Lee Enterprises, Inc.:
Lee Enterprises reports $13.2M net income on $202.3M revenue for the quarter ending in December; digital subscriptions rose 57% during the quarter to 450K  —  Digital-only subscribers grew 57%; exceeds halfway mark to 2026 target of 900K Digital Advertising Revenue totaled $43M in the quarter (+19% YOY)
Discussion: Poynter
Meta reports Q4 ad revenue of $32.6B, up 20% YoY, but warns sales growth could be 3%-11% in Q1 2022 due to iOS changes, inflation, and supply chain disruptions  —  Facebook-owner Meta has warned of slowing growth, as audiences flock to competitors like TikTok and the businesses that advertise on its platforms cut marketing budgets.
Anna Gross / Financial Times:
BT says it has started exclusive discussions with Discovery over forming a joint venture for BT Sport, deciding against a sale to DAZN  —  UK telecoms group considers 50/50 alliance with Eurosport UK after deciding against sale to DAZN  —  BT has started exclusive discussions …
Sarah Ellison / Washington Post:
Sarah Palin's libel case against NYT begins, with the potential to alter precedent granting broad protections to news outlets writing about public figures  —  The former Alaska governor claims the paper defamed her with a 2017 editorial that was later corrected, in a case that tests long-standing protections for publishers
Russia closes DW's Moscow bureau, revokes accreditations, terminates broadcasting, and plans to label it a “foreign agent” after Germany banned RT-DE  —  Russia has withdrawn the press credentials of all Deutsche Welle staff and is shutting down the organization's studio in Moscow.
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
NBC says its Super Bowl ad inventory is sold out across NBC, Telemundo, and Peacock, with some 30-second units selling for $7M  —  Kickoff for Super Bowl LVI is still days away, but NBC has scored at least one touchdown.  —  NBC has sold out all of its inventory for the Big Game …
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 More News: 
Sara Guaglione / Digiday:
How podcast publishers like Vice, iHeartMedia, and Tinkercast are growing audiences by producing original and translated non-English language content
Discussion: Podcast Movement
Stephanie Bodoni / Bloomberg:
Belgium's data watchdog fines IAB Europe €250K after finding its ad-targeting tool violates GDPR, and orders a “series of remedies” within two months
 Earlier Picks: 
The New York Times Company:
The NYT reports 375K net new digital subscriptions in Q4, $2B annual revenue in 2021 for the first time since 2012, and targets 15M+ subscribers by end of 2027